DAYBREAK DAILY: Obama a no-show so far for McAuliffe

ABC7 WEATHER: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of rain and highs in the mid 60s.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – Fatal shooting at Oxon Hill hotel; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.

WHERE’S POTUS?: Not on Terry’s campaign trail, per the Virginian-Pilot, “Creigh Deeds faced dire headwinds when President Barack Obama visited Norfolk in late October 2009 for a rally with the Democratic candidate for governor and his ticket mates, one week before voters rejected them at the polls. Circumstances appear more favorable for the current Democratic slate led by Terry McAuliffe, but as the time until Election Day winds down, it's unclear whether Obama will stump in Virginia, or whether the president and his diminishing popularity would help McAuliffe if he does.It has many asking the same question: Where's Barack Obama?

“Candidates are so selective about whom they lock arms with that even presidents can be shunned if politics demand it, said Old Dominion University political science professor Jesse Richman, recalling George W. Bush's obscurity in the 2006 elections amid public disenchantment over protracted Middle East wars. "Given the stakes for the party, Obama would be very likely to campaign for McAuliffe if asked," Richman added. "But McAuliffe may not want to risk upsetting the dynamics of a race that seems to be going his way by bringing Obama in."

MEANWHILE: Ken talks transportation, per the Washington Post, “Two weeks ahead of the Virginia gubernatorial election, Republican Ken Cuccinelli II on Monday presented an ambitious proposal to transfer authority for much of the commonwealth’s transportation system to county and local governments. Campaign aides said the white paper released midday Monday coalesced an approach to transportation that Cuccinelli has espoused during the campaign.

“Cuccinelli’s outline for dramatic change in the way the commonwealth makes transportation decisions and pays for them figures to cast the limelight on the issue in the final days of his race against Democrat Terry McAuliffe. It creates a stark difference between the two men. McAuliffe’s approach envisions enhancement of Richmond’s central role in transportation planning and continued state responsibility for secondary roads unless a county opts otherwise.”

AND IN RELATED NEWS: Just the facts, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “The Associated Press has dismissed a veteran political reporter and an editor based in Richmond over an error about Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe in an Oct. 9 story. The AP fired reporter Bob Lewis and Dena Potter, AP’s news editor for Virginia and West Virginia, a source said.

“. . . AP erroneously reported the evening of Oct. 9 that documents in a federal fraud case in Rhode Island alleged that McAuliffe “lied to a federal official” investigating Joseph Caramadre, a Rhode Island estate planner who is accused of defrauding terminally ill people. In a bulletin that night killing the story about 90 minutes after it was first posted, AP said “the indictment did not identify McAuliffe as the ‘T.M.’ who allegedly lied to investigators.” McAuliffe has said he was one of hundreds of passive investors in Caramadre’s venture and did not know about the allegations at the time.”

POLITICO PLAY: “Michael Bloomberg’s pro-gun-control super PAC will drop $1.1 million on ads for Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the final two weeks of the Virginia governor’s race. The billionaire New York City mayor’s money will be siphoned through Independence USA PAC into broadcast television commercials in the D.C. market, according to two sources tracking the air war.”

BEARS AND MARYLAND: Ready, aim. . ., per the Baltimore Sun, “Achieving its increased quota of 95 to 130 black bears in this year's annual hunt should not be difficult after the most productive first day since the event was revived in 2004. A total of 41 bears were killed Monday, according to Paul Peditto, director of wildlife and heritage services for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.The previous record was 38.”

OBAMACARE: Its architect addresses problematic issues, per the New York Times, “President Obama offered an impassioned defense of the Affordable Care Act on Monday, acknowledging the technical failures of the Web site, but providing little new information about the problems with the online portal or the efforts by government contractors to fix it.

“With Republican critics seizing on the Web site’s issues as evidence of deeper flaws in the health care law, Mr. Obama sought to deflect attention from the continuing problems by focusing on ways to get coverage without going online. Like a TV pitchman, the president urged viewers to call the government’s toll-free number for health insurance, acknowledging that “the wait times probably might go up a little bit now.”

SCHOOL SHOOTING: Just the facts, per the Los Angeles Times, “A middle school in Sparks, Nev., crowded with parents dropping off their children and students hurrying to class erupted into chaos Monday morning as a student drew a semiautomatic handgun and opened fire, killing a teacher and wounding two students before fatally turning the gun on himself.

“The unidentified shooter was dressed in khaki slacks that are part of Sparks Middle School's required uniform, witnesses said. He shot one 12-year-old boy in the abdomen and another 12-year-old boy in the shoulder, Sparks Police Department Deputy Chief Tom Miller said, adding that both wounded boys were listed in stable condition. But he declined to identify any of the students or provide additional details, other than confirming that the shooter had committed suicide.”

GRIM NEWS: For the GOP, per The Hill, “Three-quarters of voters say most Republican members of Congress should not be reelected. A new CNN/ORC International survey released Monday found 75 percent say most GOP lawmakers should get the boot when they’re up for reelection. The poll found 54 percent think Democratic incumbents don’t deserve another term, a finding that echoes other polls that suggest Republicans are getting more of the blame for the crisis.”

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COP QUITS: For a unique reason, per the Frederick News-Post, “A former Frederick police officer has resigned to resolve a charge she used stolen gift cards to buy home furnishings. Charity Faith Hoxie, 37, of Waynesboro, Pa., was charged in January with theft under $1,000 after police said she used stolen Bed, Bath & Beyond gift cards at a store on Garland Groh Boulevard in Hagerstown.

“On Monday, the charges against Hoxie were placed on the inactive docket in Washington County Circuit Court in exchange for $127 in restitution and her resignation from the Frederick Police Department. Hoxie may not work as a law enforcement officer anywhere for the next three years as part of the deal, said Assistant State’s Attorney Michele Ferris Hansen.”

MURDER PLOT?: Of getting to the bottom of the question, per Gazette.Net, “A woman who police say convinced a fellow serviceman to kill her husband is on trial this week for attempted murder. Montgomery County police say that Luisa Paiz planned to kill her husband, Santiago Perez of Gaithersburg. The two had been separated. Khiry Blue, a co-defendant in the crime pleaded guilty to attempted murder and related charges in August.”

D.C. WEED: Step right up – or not, per the Washington Times, “The District’s medical marijuana program has enrolled just 59 patients since the first city dispensary opened for business in July — far below estimates for participation. Operators of cultivation centers and dispensaries and their potential customers told the D.C. Council on Monday that the city’s strict policies have stifled the program’s growth by severely limiting who is eligible to receive medical marijuana. They also said patients and doctors remain fearful of breaking federal law by participating.”{ }{ }

TO CATCH A THIEF: Of bikes, per ARLnow, “A 42-year-old man convicted of involvement in multiple bicycle thefts around Arlington has received what police call a “lengthy” jail sentence. Michael Cullen, of no fixed address, received a 12-year jail sentence for the thefts. He pleaded guilty to eight counts of grand larceny with the intent to sell, and one count of possession of burglarious tools.”

WRITERS NEEDED: For made-up tales, per City Paper, “Calling all fiction writers: On January 2, Washington City Paper will publish its second annual Fiction Issue. If you've been looking for a chance to set free your inner Edward P. Jones, Danielle Evans, or George Pelecanos, here it is.”

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “A Walmart in Florida had a very unwelcome visitor recently. A 6-foot long alligator attempted to walk into a Walmart. The alligator fled before authoritoies could detain it.”

NEWSTALK: 10 a.m., NewsChannel 8.

--Skip Wood

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